Interview: PVRIS: “Not to get ahead of ourselves, but we want to be one of the biggest bands ever”

PVRIS: "Not to get ahead of ourselves, but we want to be one of the biggest bands ever"

PVRIS visit the UK this month for a string of live dates.

“Just envisage it, believe in yourself and never stop hustling,” is the advice that falls so readily from the mouth of Lyndsey Gunnulfsen, better known as Lynn Gunn. “Never stop working towards it and one day, you’ll magically find yourself there.” The PVRIS vocalist knows a thing or two about magic. Formed in 2012 from the ruins of other musical projects, Lynn Gunn, Alex Babinski and Brian Macdonald have settled into a rhythm that’s seen them sign to Rise Records, stave off legal disputes and release their superb debut album last November. ‘White Noise’ is a dark fairytale, heavy in smouldering electronica and narrated by devastatingly powerful honesty.

Causing waves beyond those ten-tracks, when tickets went on sale for the band’s debut headline shows in the UK, Birmingham’s Academy 3 and London’s Barfly, they sold out in less than two minutes. “It’s insane. We were not expecting that at all,” says Lynn, a mixture of potent nerves and giddy excitement. Speaking from Florida where PVRIS are holed up working on new material, she admits they “Don’t know what to expect,” from their first shows outside the US. Taking in support stints, festival slots and a run of their own headline shows across Europe, PVRIS are doing it all. “I’ve always wanted to visit and experience it so I’m sure it’ll be awesome,” she says with unwavering optimism.

“We didn’t think it would happen this quickly,” admits Lynn of her bands upwards trajectory. ‘St Patrick’, the lead single from that debut and the first real glimpse at the band PVRIS had become is still less than a year old. “We’re super proud of the songs we made but we weren’t sure how other people would take to it,” she recalls. A slither of time already laying those concerns to rest. The electronic infused rock that sits at the heart of ‘White Noise’ only came to the forefront after the band teamed up with Versa’s Blake Harnage in the studio.

“A lot of that record, I wrote when I was having a really bad time.”

— Lynn Gunn

“I don’t think we found ourselves,” starts Lynn. ”Because we always knew we wanted this style and this direction but we never really had the confidence to do that. With this record though, we finally have the assurance to know that we can make it work.” It’s a record that’s caused waves and drawn attention but the three-piece are just getting started in that spotlight. “We’re inspired by so many different genres and styles I think it just came together naturally without thinking too much about it. I think the record has done a good job at leaving it open ended for whatever possible direction we go in next, because its very dynamic and it touches on a lot of different spectrums and styles that we could go in,” Lynn ventures.

“I’m always really inspired by dark things and the supernatural for some reason,” explains Lynn. “Ghosts, paranormal stuff, death, anger, sadness,” she lists before taking a brief pause as a realisation dawns. “Well, anything that’s not happy basically inspires me, which sounds kinda messed up,” she admits with a small laugh. “A lot of that record, I wrote when I was having a really bad time mentally. I don’t like calling it depression but it seemed like that and I couldn’t pinpoint what my issues were, or what was wrong with me but I knew there was something wrong. My problems weren’t tangible things, they weren’t thing I could see or explain to people so in a way it was like they were ghosts or spirits that were haunting me.”

“I think a lot of people are afraid to put it out there and talk about it but we weren’t. I think that might be a big reason people have connected to it and got behind it. I feel like for anyone who’s sharing feelings of topics like that, it’s a little bit scary but I feel its more therapeutic and cathartic to write about that stuff, to talk about that stuff and put it out there. You feel better about it. To know that other people can connect to that makes you feel even better. As scary as it at first, it eventually just pays off and turns out to be good in the end,” she describes, that optimism rearing its head once more.

“I hope we can impact people, inspire people and motivate people.”

— Lynn Gunn

Wanting to perform on stage after seeing Paramore support Jimmy Eat World back in 2008, there was the assuring realisation that “yeah, I can do that. I want to do that,” and it’s a chain Lynn wants to continue. “I hope we can impact people, inspire people and motivate people to follow their dreams and do whatever makes them happiest. That’s the most important thing anyone can take from a band,” she shares.

There’s the weird acknowledgment that Lynn has now become a role model but it’s something she tries “not to think about. The main thing is just to be a good person and lead by example, I guess. I feel like I’ve always tried to do that.”

“If someone wants to take something from our music, that’s what matters to us,” explains Lynn. There was no plan to "put anything into peoples minds", beyond the simple hope that "something happens, whether it’s connecting to some songs, connecting to a line in a song or just simply enjoying the music for music," but people have got behind PVRIS in a big way. Whether it’s the fusion of alternative rock with glittering pop or the darkness that it wraps itself around, people care.

"I guess it's just it's pretty raw and honest. There’s a lot of topics people can relate to and I think it sounds pretty great, if I do say so myself. We’re pretty proud of it, so people are taking all of that away from it."

With 2015 already underway with a trip to Europe and a summer on Warped Tour, we should expect "Lots of touring, writing, scheming and hustling," from the band. There’s "lots of stuff we can’t say but we’re always working, always touring and working our butts off so expect that," demands Lynn, "Expect a lot."

The band are "booked until 2016 right now," and they’re already plotting their next return to Europe and beyond. "Not to get ahead of ourselves, but we want to be one of the biggest bands ever. We’re not going to stop working until we achieve that. It seems like a crazy thing but if you’re doing this, if you’re making music, why not?" she questions, a mix of youthful hope and powerful determination. "That’s what I think our main goal is, just to ride this out for as long as possible and keep enjoying what we’re doing forever. To touch as many lives as possible and get into as many ears as possible. Why not, you only get one life,” she reasons with faultless logic. "No one wants to live small."

PVRIS tour the UK from today, Thursday 9th April. Visit pvris.com/shows for their full list of dates.


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